Her plans are to major in nursing and work in that field to help pay for medical school, with her eventual career goal to become a pediatric cardiologist.
But before the 18-year-old heads to Johnson City, she plans to take a detour — a summer trip to California for a Future Business Leaders of America competition that ties her high school career to her plans for college and career.
“I want to go into nursing first and become an RN (registered nurse) and then go back (to become a physician),” McPhink said. “I want to be able to work through school.” She plans to do all her undergraduate and medical education at ETSU.
She said a clinical class in which she was in the cardiac care unit at a local hospital got her interested in becoming a pediatric cardiologist.
“I’ve known for as long as I can remember I wanted to go into health care,” said McPhink, who has a sister who is a nurse practitioner.
McPhink, daughter of Betty and Bill McPhink, won first place in Tennessee in health care administration in an FBLA state conference in early April.
Now she, FBLA adviser Margaret Seale, friends and family are trying to raise more than $2,000 for the trip so McPhink and Seale can fly to Anaheim, Calif.
McPhink was in the state FBLA competition and North student Courtney Dorton participated in the FBLA conference, both in Chattanooga April 8-10.
Courtney was a voting delegate for Region 9 and participated in the sports and entertainment advertising open event.
McPhink participated in the hospitality and tourism open event and competed in health care administration.
In the latter, competing with more than 30 other regional winners from across the state, Kaitlyn was one of five finalists before winning first place.
McPhink will be representing North and the state of Tennessee in health care administration at nationals in Anaheim, Calif., June 27-29, with June 26 and June 30 travel days.
The FBLA is a national school organization. With the North chapter’s participation in the April State Leadership Conference in Chattanooga, it exhausted all of its funds.
“We are requesting financial assistance in the form of a donation toward this trip to the National FBLA Conference,” said Seale, a business and information technology teacher at North. “The estimated costs for airfare, accommodations, and registration fees will be $2,600.”
Seale said the club was able to make the initial registration fee of $145 each for her and McPhink. The shortfall is down to $2,484.78, but Seale said the crucial amount is the $1,264 for Kaitlyn. Seale said the school system likely will reimburse her costs since Seale also is acting as the sponsor for two Central High School students competing at the FBLA event in California.
Sullivan Central took 12 students to compete in Chattanooga, and nine placed. Two others made it through the first round in business presentations to the top 10, but did not place in top five.
Winning second place, and eligibility for the national competition, were community service project participants Amber Ramsey, Tori Mitchell and Holly Nelms. Ramsey and Nelms are competing in Anaheim.
Other Central winners, who are not going to Anaheim, are first-place business financial plan winners Kendra Vanover and Courtney Poister; second-place emerging business issues winners Beth Poore and Mary Williams; and second-place business presentations winners Amanda Baker and Lynsey Powell.
Dobyns-Bennett High School also had winners in the state competition eligible to go to the national competition, but none are planning to compete there.
In accounting at the state competition, Angie Bark took first place, followed by Alex Golden in second, and Olivia Wallace in third. Emili Drozdowski took first place in client services, while George Shelton and William Lynch teamed up to claim first-place honors in team computer game design (team).
Chase Darnell and Alix Willis earned first in team network design, while Ryan Hernandez earned top honors in sports management. Adrian Hargrave finished second in business law, Peter Alley took third in network concepts and Alexa Cleek finished fourth in hospitality management.
McPhink is a member of the Student Council and student body secretary in that group, president of North’s FBLA, a member of the Health Occupations Students of America, where she won the statewide competition in epidemiology but is not going to national. She also is in the Beta Club, National Honor Society and doing a clinicals class that includes job shadowing at Holston Valley Medical Center this semester. She is in the top 10 academically of the senior class.
She also has a part-time job at McDonald’s.
Donations may be sent to: Sullivan North High School, FBLA Donation-Attention Tami Minnick, 2533 John B. Dennis Highway, Kingsport, TN 37660.